Occupation: Actor, Comedian, Musician, Screenwriter, Singer.
Date of Birth: September 9, 1966.
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Sign: Sun in Virgo, Moon in Cancer.
Relations: Fiancée: Jackie Titone (model); former companions: Margaret Ruden, Alicia Silverstone.
Education: New York University; BFA.
ADAM SANDLER HAS come a long way since he played Cajun Man and Operaman on Saturday Night Live. Now considered an A-list box-office draw, the New Hampshire native has a string of hits behind him, including Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy.
Sandler first tried his hand (or, more appropriately, his mouth) at stand-up in Boston when he was 17. He found that he enjoyed the experience as much as the audience did, so he honed his skills while studying at New York University. After graduating in 1991, he began the inevitable rounds of auditions. Unlike most young actors, though, Sandler got his breaks quickly and often.
Adam's first role of note was a recurring one as Theo Huxtable's friend Smitty on The Cosby Show. Adam won his spot on the legendary Saturday Night Live on a recommendation from SNL veteran Dennis Miller, who had seen him perform in standup. Adam started primarily as a writer (as do all SNL ensemble members), but before his first year was up, he was elevated to a regular player.
In 1993, partway through his SNL tenure, Sandler released his first comedy album, They're All Gonna Laugh at You. As a Lorne Michaels protégé, Adam also began taking parts in feature movies. Among his less-celebrated roles were appearances in Mixed Nuts, Shakes the Clown and the true bomb Airheads. Finally, in 1995, Sandler landed Billy Madison, a lowbrow comedy about a young man who must repeat his entire schooling in six months. Now a cult classic on college campuses, Billy Madison was enough of a box-office hit to lure Sandler away from the safety of a weekly SNL paycheck.
Adam released his second comedy album, What the Hell Happened to Me? in 1996, followed a year later by the most profane, What's Your Name?
1996 saw the comedian begin landing film roles with a vengeance. First came Happy Gilmore, a low-budget flick about a hockey player turned pro golfer. Not only was the film an immediate hit, but it has also gained cult status among sports fans; Happy Gilmore now ranks right up there with Slap Shot and North Dallas Forty.
It wasn't until 1998's The Wedding Singer that anybody really thought Sandler could act. Co-starring with Drew Barrymore, Sandler impressed critics and fans alike. Later in 1998, Sandler became a bona fide star with The Waterboy, a less than challenging acting assignment, but comedy just the way his fans like it: goofy. That film's success laid the groundwork for Sandler's 1999 slapstick-fest, Big Daddy.
Despite not getting much respect from his comedy peers, including Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller, Sandler now commands a hefty eight figures for his films. And no matter what the critics say, Sandler's fans are hooked for life.
2000 Little Nicky
1999 Big Daddy
1998 Dirty Work
1998 The Waterboy
1998 The Wedding Singer
1996 Happy Gilmore
1995 Billy Madison
1995 Going Overboard
1994 Mixed Nuts
1992 Shakes the Clown
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)